Day 21 #MHAM #MHAMBC #Brave or Used to it?

"Brave:" Watch the video below of Sara Barielles' "Brave" and listen to the lyrics. Then tell us how standing up for ourselves gives us hope.

Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle 'neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I hesitate to even use the word brave when it comes to chronic illness to be honest. Is it brave to deal with something when you have no choice but to deal with it? Or do you just learn to deal with it because you simply have no other choice but to?

And you know most of the time I do not feel brave. I feel tired. And I push through the pain to do what I feel is necessary in this world or what society feels is necessary for me and that makes me ever so much more tired for the extra suffering it creates. When I fail to do so, which obviously happens on bad days, well then I suffer the immense guilt of failing to meet expectations. Damned if I even know what those expectations are. What prize do I even win for suffering the most? For being that Brave?

But to be brave with words? Well that I can do but to be honest not everyone cares to hear the truths that come from those of us with chronic pain. That this life is by no means easy and that it can take a dire toll on us. And sometimes we don't cope so well with that. Maybe they expect more inspiration from us. More bravery. More conquering and victory. More strength. And we have all those things or we would never have survived. But we cannot be strong all the time. Not in the face of an endless battle. There are days when the war itself makes us battle weary and we all know this and I don't think it should be shocking news to anyone. But it makes people uncomfortable. I have no issue discussing all the complexities that come with chronic pain. That is not being brave, that is just being honest and blunt. Which I tend to be with some people that I know well or on this blog. If I do not know people well or do not respect them, then I am vague and private. Just a matter of what I wish to disclose, which is within my rights.

Everybody's been there,
Everybody's been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don't run, just stop holding your tongue

There is a point when it comes to raising awareness that I believe being blunt and honest is to our benefit which is why I tend not to hold back much when blogging. I don't want people to think this coping deal is easy. That I have this perfect routine and acceptance and that is It. Done. It just is not the case. Treatment is complicated. Pain is complicated. And for people to understand this we have to be willing to talk about it freely.

I admit though in the real world I have 'done some disappearing' because I don't express pain well. I tend to be stoic and silent about it. The whole suffer in silent routine even if I am really, really struggling to cope. Which is not a good thing if I am having serious problems coping. People do need to know when the pain becomes a serious issue. Of course, in my defense, when I expressed just that to my doctor very articulately he did nothing. Maybe I did not scream or weep enough and just used my words so he did not believe my pain and that is on him not me. Because words is all I have, being as how decades of pain have taught me how to mask it exceptionally well. From most people, most of the time... not all people, all of the time.

Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

I bet you my brave is bigger than even I know. Even when I feel weak I still get up. I still go on. I still keep going. But there is no way out of the cage I live in.

And since your history of silence
Won't do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don't you tell them the truth?

I will say this in the real world my history of silence indeed has never done me any good. While I can articulate my pain very well when I choose to, I rarely choose to. I often simply hide it because that is what I am used to. The more pain I am in the more silence and uncommunicative I become. Which can be mistaken for anger, because if I am angry I do the same thing being the sort of person who loathes saying things out of anger. And there was a time when I was not coping with the pain, when it completely and utterly exceeded my coping strategies. When i was getting monthly status migraines and little sleep and working full time... and daily migraines as well of course. And I had suicidal ideation for a long time. Then one status migraine ideation became action. And not once did I mention to anyone how difficult the pain had become to manage. Obviously it was easy to See, but I didn't express the struggle. Didn't say 'This is seriously getting to me and compromising my desire to survive'. As I said, I did express myself to my doctor and he did nothing. But I didn't say I was suicidal because a) counter-productive to the suicidal to mention it and b) I assumed it was natural to have 'dark thoughts' when in extreme pain and when the status migraine was over often I was fine again. I just believed I needed to push though the pain until some treatment came along to help me... just a little bit. But it never did. So there are times when the truth is very important and when it needs to be expressed very clearly. Very bluntly. However, from my experience, I cannot say anyone will listen regarding treating the pain but I am sure they will go forth and treat what they assume is depression. In my case, later, they actually said it was more depression associated with pain. Basically untreated pain... not so great for the moods. It is dangerous. 

"The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association."

Prompts to be found on: Awareness Month page.

Awareness Month page.

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